Safari Parks in South and West of Tanzania
Tourism is less well-developed in the southern and western regions of Tanzania than it is in the north. If it is solitude, tranquillity and peace of mind you are looking for, you may prefer to visit these regions. This part of Tanzania truly is paradise for anyone who wants to experience what it must have been like to be an explorer. We feel that it is only right to warn you that the game in these areas is less used to interactions with humans and can be slightly more shy. Furthermore, due to the vastness of the area, in contrast with the north, taking a domestic flight may sometimes be necessary. The main attractions are listed below:
Selous Game Reserve
Selous game reserve one of the largest in the world covering 50.000 square kilometres, has always had a mystique and history that adds to its attractions. Named after Fredrick Courtney Selous of the Royal Fusiliers who was killed along the Rufiji River close to behobeho. The attractions of this Reserve are very diverse. From the varying vegetation zones, ranging from dense thickets to open wooded grasslands, to walking safaris and boat safaris along the Rufiji river with its many lakes that are abound with hippopotamus and one of the greatest concentrations of crocodile. One of the main attractions is the possible sighting of hunting dogs (lycaon pictus), which have become rare in the northern circuit.
Ruaha National Park
Ruaha National Park, situated in the south western part of Tanzania, is one of the larger national parks. Common features of this park are its herds of elephants, part of a stable population of over 10.000 often observed perched beneath the succulent baobab trees seeking shade. Another attraction is the diversity of Antelope species such as Grants gazelle generically from east Africa and greater Kudu more common in southern Africa. The terrain characteristically is rugged, semi arid woodland meandering along the Ruaha river, which is the life support of the park. One of the attractions is the convergence/transition of two environments, from the typical acacia woodland of East Africa to the miombo woodlands of southern Africa. This shift in vegetation is one of the factors attributing to the diversity of herbivores. This park also offers opportunities to see the highly endangered African hunting dog of which several packs call Ruaha their home. Several other predators are also a common sight in the park including Lion, Leopard and Cheetah.
Mikumi National Park
Mikumi National Park forms the northern boundary of Selous game reserve, one of the largest nature reserves in the world. This area that has been allocated for nature conservation allows for herds of animals to roam great distances uninhibited by fences or boundaries. The park is regarded as one of the less frequented national parks by the average tourist, and therefore allows for more intimate game viewing. As a result the road infrastructure and services is steadily being improved as visiting tourists increase. However this really does not limit your game viewing as game is plenty.
Mahale national park offers a safari experience which is unique and full of mystery, hidden treasures and magnificent beaches backed by spellbinding mountain ranges. This destination is more for the intrepid traveler as there are no tracks and therefore no cars; exploration is all done on foot. The daily activities are usually based around excursions into the forest in search of Chimpanzees, followed by relaxing afternoons as it can get quite hot. This is usually a great time to go snorkeling or take boat trips on Lake Tanganyika. Lake Tanganyika is the second deepest Lake in the world and has spectacular marine life, accompanied by exceedingly clear water.